Week 7 – Peace Learner Commitment (Summer 2013)

Thich Nhat Hanh Peace In Oneself Peace In The WorldThis is the final week of the course and its one where we will spend much time reviewing what’s been covered over these past six weeks and reflecting on what’s resonated with us most strongly. Listen to the podcast below to hear my take-aways from last week’s final forum and to introduce this week’s concluding exercise.

This week we focus on what knowledge, skills, and attitudes we have gained throughout the course and how you plan to implement these learnings into your personal or professional practice.

Your peace learner commitment is a pledge to yourself, and shared with our community, to achieve a goal that seeks to build and foster peaceable learning environments.  This environment can be built in the classroom, your community, among your peers, with your family, in the work place, or for yourself.  The choice is yours.

The key is for an element of this course that resonated with you – skill, content, activity, attitude, technique, perspective, etc. – to bear fruit outside of the online space and time we shared this semester.

To help you in developing and honoring your commitment, I invite you to do three things:

(1)  Review all of your responses to the reflection questions that have been a part of each of the online learning modules. This will help you recall everything we have covered throughout the semester and hopefully trigger aspects of the course that resonated with you.

(2)  Develop and write up your peace learner commitment by first responding to a series of questions (outlined below) that call upon your experiences from the class, and second, guide you through the S.M.A.R.T. goals framework. This will help you formulate a specific goal and a plan to achieve it.  It will also provide our learning community with a mission to keep in touch with you once this class is over and check in on the progress of your commitment.

(3)  Participate in our final all class conference call on Friday, August 16th, where you will have an opportunity to vocalize your peace learner commitment to the rest of the class – why this goal, how you plan to achieve it, and what kind of support, if any, you may need. The conference call will be recorded and then be made available everyone through the PeaceLearner.org website.

Interested in hearing peace learner commitments from a previous class? Check out this post from Fall 2012.

Continue reading for to see the full set of guidelines for developing your peace learner commitment.

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Week 6 – Yoga and Mindfulness (Summer 2013)

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This week we explore yoga and mindfulness for the classroom and self-care. But before you jump in to this week’s readings and videos, be sure to check out the savoring beauty photo gallery.

The learning objectives of this module are that you will be able to:

  • Explore the use of meditation in schools and learning environments
  • List benefits of meditation and yoga for learners
  • Experiment with yoga and meditation practices for self-care
  • Develop a meditation or yoga routine for yourself or your community or learners

Key ideas and terms from this module are: meditation, yoga, conscious breathing, self-care

The exercises for this week are:

  • Daily peace actions (Peace Is Every Step)
  • Talk with your learning partner over the phone by Saturday, August 9th
  • Contribute to forum 6.1 by Sunday, August 10th @ 12:00pm

Continue reading to see the full outline of this week’s assignments…

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Week 5 – Environmental Sustainability (Summer 2013)

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I am continuing with the podcast this week as my video editing software continues to give me problems. Click on the link below to listen and jump into week 5.

This week we explore the Earth Charter and the various ways in which its principles can be and have been integrated into classrooms and communities. This week also focuses on how to use the outdoors as a learning environment and integrate elements of the natural world into the learning space as a way to understand environmental systems and issues such as the materials economy, climate change, and conservation.

The learning objectives for this week are for you to be able to:

  • Identify ways in which the principles of the Earth Charter are being actualized around the world
  • Calculate your carbon footprint
  • Evaluate different environmental sustainability curricula and lesson plans
  • Think creatively about adapting environmental education curricula for one’s own educational context

Key ideas and terms from this module are: materials economy, Earth Charter, carbon footprint, sustainability

The exercises for this week are:

  • Daily peace actions (Being Present in Beauty)
  • Crowd-sourced, digital photo gallery
  • Talk with your learning partner over the phone by Saturday, August 3rd
  • Contribute to forum 5.1 by Sunday, August 4th @ 12:00pm

Continue reading to see the full outline of this week’s assignments. Continue reading

Week 4 – Transforming Conflict Nonviolently (Summer 2013)

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I am trying something new this week. There is no video, but rather an audio podcast. So click on the play button below to listen and jump into this week’s module.

This week we look at nonviolent ways to manage and resolve conflicts. This topic follows nicely from the previous week because a lot of the skills and methods needed to successfully resolve conflicts require thought and practice dedicated to social and emotional learning.

The learning objectives of this week are that you will be able to:

  • Define conflict
  • Explore effective ways of managing conflicts between learners
  • Appreciate the opportunities for growth that are present when conflicts arise
  • Evaluate peer mediation programs from various schools
  • Practice reflective and active listening skills
  • Understand the various components of talking circles

Key ideas and terms from this week are: I-messages, conflict, conflict transformation, mediation, RASA, reflective listening, active listening, attending skills, reflecting skills, talking circles

The exercises for this week are:

  • Daily peace actions (What Went Well)
  • Talk with your learning partner over the phone by Saturday, July 27th.
  • Participate in the all-class conference call on Wednesday, July 24th @ 5:00pm
  • Contribute to forum 4.1 by Sunday, July 28th @ 12:00pm

Continue to reading for the full outline of this week’s assignments. Continue reading

Week 3 – Social and Emotional Learning + Positive Psychology (Summer 2013)

This week we look at emotional intelligence which, in an educational context, is sometimes referred to as social and emotional learning.  Social and emotional learning really blossomed in the field of education after the release of Daniel Goleman’s book, Emotional Intelligence, in 1995. Theories of social and emotional learning are at the foundation of many other elements of peace pedagogy such as conflict resolution, reflective listening, and cooperative learning.  Hence, connections to social and emotional learning will continue to be referenced in other modules. We will also look at the field of positive psychology in this module. Positive psychology is a field of psychology made most famous by Dr. Martin Selligman.

The learning objectives of this module are that you will be able to:

  • Define emotional intelligence
  • Define social and emotional learning
  • Define positive psychology and identify various elements of it
  • Identify skills to enhance and develop emotional intelligence
  • Connect emotional intelligence to concepts of positive psychology
  • Brainstorm ways to incorporate emotional intelligence in your own learning environment

Key ideas and terms in this module are: emotional intelligence, positive psychology, emotional vocabulary, social and emotional learning, empathy, safe learning environment, comfort zone

The exercises for this week are:

  • Daily peace actions (Gratitude Letters)
  • Talk with your learning partner over the phone by Saturday, July 20th.
  • Contribute to forum 3.1 by Sunday, July 21st @ 12:00pm

Continue reading for the full outline of this week’s assignments… Continue reading

Week 2 – Foundations of Peace Education (Summer 2013)

This week you will be introduced to a number of individuals whose work has had and continues to have a significant impact on the field of peace education. There are, of course, a lot of people who fit this category – many of which are not included in this module. The eight selected and highlighted for this course have special significance because of not only their written contributions, but the diversity of perspectives and affiliations they bring to this conversation.

The learning objectives of this week are for you to be able to:

  • Identify key scholars and thinkers who have helped shape and define the field of peace education
  • Understand the different ways, approaches, and methods of peace education
  • Trace the history of peace education and the various ways it has evolved since the mid 20th century
  • Reflect on your own experiences, or lack thereof, with peace education

Key ideas and terms in this week are: 7 blossoms of peace education, partnership model, domination model, banking education, liberation praxis, dialogue, five spheres of peace and right relationships, peace through strength, peace through justice, peace through transformation, peace through politics, peace through sustainability, peace through education, conflict resolution training, disarmament education, education for the prevention of war, environmental education, global education, human rights education, multicultural education, nuclear education, world-order studies.

The exercises for this week are:

  • Daily peace actions (Make Someone Smile)
  • Talk with your learning partner over the phone by Saturday, July 13th
  • Contribute to Forum 2.1 by Sunday, July 14th @ 12:00pm

Continue reading for the full outline of this week’s assignments…

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Week 1 – Building Peaceable Learning Communities (Summer 2013)

Welcome everyone! Let’s jump right in. Begin by watching the welcome video below, then make your way through the rest of the blog post, following the instructions and engaging in the various exercises. I recommend dedicating around 4 hours this week to complete the assignments and activities.

“The community stagnates without the impulse of the individual. The impulse dies away without the sympathy of the community.”
-William James

This week we look at different ways educators can incorporate community building practices and methods into their work.

The learning objectives of this module are that you will be able to:

  • Describe and represent who you are and what you bring to our learning community
  • Identify commonalities and differences that strengthen our learning community
  • Brainstorm ways in which icebreakers can be incorporated into your educational practice
  • Define cooperative learning and identify its benefits
  • Think creatively about how to structure learning spaces in ways that foster community
  • Critique and assess the value of rules and rule-making in the classroom
  • Devise questions that can be utilized during check-in processes and with learning buddies

Key ideas and terms for this module are: cooperative learning, icebreakers, community agreements, community building, check-ins

The exercises for this week are:

  • Daily peace actions (Quiet Time)
  • Contribute to Forum 1.1 by Wednesday, July 3rd @ 12:00pm
  • Participate in the all class conference call on Wednesday, July 3rd @ 5:00pm
  • Talk with your learning partner over the phone by Saturday, July 6th
  • Contribute to Forum 1.2 by Sunday, July 7th @ 12:00pm

Continue reading for full outline of this week’s assignments

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